- Paperback: 308 pages
- Publisher: Arcadia Books; Arcadia Books edition (19 May 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1906413878
- ISBN-13: 978-1906413873
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Darkling Spy, The Paperback – 19 May 2011
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IT'S ON A PAR WITH JOHN LE CARRÉ....IT S THAT GOOD ... As a novel this has a wonderful feel the taste, the texture and the smell of authenticity. --Tribune
The glory days of the Cold War are evoked in The Darkling Spy by Edward Wilson, who boldly ventures into the territory so well trodden by John le Carré. The professionalism of the novel, so rich in detailed perspectives, it's characters so sturdily grounded, enables it to outgrow the spy-thrillers more wearisome conventions, while delivering strong emotional charges. --Times Literary Supplement
A thriller of page-turning brilliance --I Love a Mystery
About the Author
Edward Wilson served in Vietnam as an officer in the 5th Special Forces. His decorations include the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for Valor. Soon after leaving the army, Wilson became a permanent expatriate and he formally lost US nationality in 1986 to become British. For the past thirty years he has been a teacher in Suffolk, where he lives. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Disinformation and double bluff are the rule of the day and practised by all Intelligence Services, East and West. "You were never certain if you were among those who would sheild you or those who would betray you." These are the thoughts of the novel's hero, Lowestoft born William Catesby, Intelligence Officer, SIS (known now as MI6). Catesby is sent on a mission by his enigmatic patron, superior SIS officer and Director Henry Bone. Catesby's brief is to track down dangerous agent provocateur "Butterfly" who works in the Eastern bloc. Britain's future relations with America are at stake as Butterfly has damaging information about other Cambridge spies. Catesby and Bone are on the same wavelength although Catesby is always a few steps behind, "he realised that he didn't know him (Bone) at all." As Catesby gleans snippets of information about "angel-faced" but devil hearted Rudolf Ralswiek, Butterfly, the reader is not left in the dark for long because Wilson regularly intersperses the action with dialogue between Bone and Catesby which helps slot the pieces together.
Edward Wilson as in "The Envoy" evokes 1950's London at the centre of power but also portrays its precarous position as Catesby ponders Britain's potential destruction in an East West nuclear holocaust, "the Thames will vanish in a hiss of steam like spilt water on a hot stove". Catesby is promoted to Head of Eastern Europe Section and his advice is now sought by the powers that be.Read more ›
A shame, because there's a lot of interesting stuff in this book, particularly in the awkward Catesby-Bone relationship. But in the end the narrative line suffers from complexity-for-the-sake-of-complexity, and a lack of focus. I hope Mr Wilson writes another book, because there's real potential here.
I had been amused by Edward Wilson's somewhat peculiar comment at the very back of 'The Midnight Swimmer' that 'This is a work of fiction. When I have used official titles and positions, I do not suggest that the persons who held those positions in the past are the same persons portrayed in a novel or that they have spoken, thought or behaved in the way I have imagined.' This disclaimer also appears at the back of 'The Darkling Spy'.
In reviewing 'The Midnight Swimmer' I'd established that the thriller's Jim Angleton had the same bombastic and unpleasant personality traits as a certain James Jesus Angleton who, in real life and from 1954 to 1975, held the extremely influential position of Associate Deputy Director of Operations for Counterintelligence. This period, of course, spans the timeline of both thrillers.
The reappearance of Jim Angleton, still CIA's Head of Counterintelligence, in 'The Darkling Spy' suggested it would be an interesting exercise to check whether any of Mr Wilson's other 'fictitious' characters had actually existed during the Cold War period.
It quickly became apparent that 'The Darkling Spy' skilfully involves a number of individuals who, in real life, had shaped the history of that period and whose doppelgänger equivalents play important roles in the thriller.Read more ›
I wonder also if the unnamed "art historian friend" who plays a small, but important role in the story, is meant to be Anthony Blunt.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first experience of Edward Wilson and I have been very impressed I shall be reading more of his books. Read morePublished 5 days ago by L. Doyle
Edward Wilson is a Master Spy Thriller Writer and long may he continue.Published 2 months ago by Iain Kettles
Another complex and gripping plot from a bygone era, who said there was no more mileage in cold war thrillers? Read morePublished 2 months ago by J.T. O'Neil
I enjoyed this, but the coincidences of historic linkage between the various characters were rather implausible.....but then it's fiction for entertainment.Published 2 months ago by John Brown
Well written,and very atmospheric . The writer creates some great characters,and your mind tends to see everything in a black and white mode,very enjoyable read.Published 2 months ago by Gerry Mcguire
I was quite enjoying this book until I came across a conversation between two of the characters. One said to the other "It's a big ask". A big ask?? Read morePublished 3 months ago by Irene
Cannot read he book because it refuses to open on my Nexus 7 tablet - the only book that fails to do so.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer